Eight Cool Apartments Beyond Manhattan
Condos are all the rage in Manhattan, but our search for the hottest apartment projects took us across the Hudson and East rivers. Here are eight multifamily breakthroughs you should know about.
1. The Stack, Inwood
Before Forest City did it at Atlantic Yards, Jeff Brown did it in Inwood (we know that’s in Manhattan, but just by 12 blocks). On Thursday, we visited 4857 Broadway, where a crane was snapping 56 prefab modules into place like Legos. On-site construction on The Stack started just three weeks ago, and the 28-unit apartment building, plus 4,000 SF of ground-floor retail, will be ready for occupancy in October. Jeff says prefab saved six months of construction time and 15% on costs, and leasing will begin in September. (Those six extra months give everyone a chance to catch up on Game of Thrones.)
2. 4545 Centre Blvd, LIC
The most unexpected amenity at TF Cornerstone’s crown jewel at 4545 Center Blvd in LIC: the beach volleyball court on the 50k SF roof deck. Scott Walsh, whom we snapped overlooking Midtown from the 31st floor, tells us 40% of 820 units have leased since marketing began in early June, many to families with young kids. Scott, who lives down the street, says the Cornell-Technion campus coming to the southern tip of Roosevelt Island (at his elbow) will draw more tenants.
3. Gantry Park Landing, LIC
Long Island City is all the rage. And so aptsandlofts.com presidentDavid Maundrell expects The Lightstone Group’s 199-unit Gantry Park Landing at 50-01 2nd St, for which leasing launched last week, to fill with tenants who appreciate the community feel and industrial vibe—it sits on the old Pennsylvania Railway powerhouse site, and the lobby is rendered above. He says NY’s economic recovery helps, too: 20% of the tenants in a recent building he leased came from out of state.
4. 101 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg
We snapped Halcyon Management Group’s Yoel Sabel on the seventh floor terrace of his newest and biggest project: 101 Bedford Ave in Williamsburg (we see you, Manhattan!). Leasing began three weeks ago, and the first tenants move into the 351-unit, seven-story property in August, he tells us. Perks for “every niche” of the diverse Brooklyn crowd: a canine cleaning room, golf simulator, wine room, and music room. (Who needs a golf simulator when your thankful canine can fetch actual golf balls?)
5. 53 Broadway, Williamsburg
After years of delays, Adam America Real Estate’s 53 Broadway in Williamsburg begins leasing next week. Bought out of foreclosure in January 2012, the 75-unit building was originally planned as condos but changed to rental. The property has 10k SF of commercial space and a large lounge, a feature Adam America founder Omri Sachs says caters to the expected 30% of tenants who will work from home. AARE, only a few years on the NY scene, is a “big believer” in Brooklyn and says to be on the lookout for nearby high-end projects coming to market in fall 2014.
6. 1125 Banner Ave, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn
We snapped GFI Capital Resources’ Michael Weiser in his Downtown office, where (despite his choice in artwork) he admits to not being a global player. GFI does, however, control properties all the way out in Sheepshead Bay, including 1125 Banner Ave. He acquired the two-building distressed condo complex 65% complete in ’11. Now, two weeks after leasing, 14% of the 45 units are spoken for in one building and 95% in the other. A rental island in a sea of condos, 1125 occupies a niche with little competition, he tells us, catering to the high-end tenant who doesn’t consider Brooklyn as just Manhattan’s cheap alternative. And it’s not cheap: High demand for new rentals mean tenants pay $1,900 for one-bedrooms and up to $3,750 for penthouses.
7. Woodstock Commons, Ulster County, NY
Better known for its 1969 festival, Woodstock also is home toWoodstock Commons, a 13-acre, 53-unit affordable housing complex subsidized by tax credits. Rent is capped at 30% of area median income, ideal for tenants priced out of neighboring Orange and Duchess counties. Senior citizens live in 20 of the rentals whileartists and musicians occupy the rest. (“Though can anyone really occupy a space, man? It like, belongs to all of us,” said all of them.)Doug Olcott, SVP at Community Preservation Corp, which financed the $16M project with Rural Ulster Preservation Co, tells us that the 13 buildings, completed in March, had been delayed for eight years due to local opposition but filled up in under four months post development.
8. St. George, Harrison, NJ
Heavy on the amenities (heated garage, poker table, and bar) but light on vacancies, the three-story, 60-unit St. George in Harrison, NJ, is expected to lease up next month, says The Marketing Directors prez Jackie Urgo. She attributes high demand toreferrals, the allure of a brand-new building, and reluctance to payNYC rates. Residents who work in finance—it’s an easy PATH commute to FiDi—make up almost a quarter of the occupants in the90%-full building. (The other three-quarters stay out of the poker room when those guys are there.) Two-bedroom units top 1,200 SF and start at $1,775, plus a month of free rent, she says.
A lack of multifamily inventory in NYC in Q1 created pent-up demand, which combined with higher prices for a substantial sales increase in the second quarter, says Ariel Property Advisors’ Shimon Shkury. 156 sales closed in Q2 (50% more than Q1) totaling $1.6B in gross consideration (63% more), according to Ariel Property Advisors’ Multifamily Quarter in Review. Queens trades increased 270% over last quarter and 216% over Q2 ’12 to $161M as investors sought the borough’s perceived stability, strong rents, and excellent collection record. Price/SF increased in every market from the first half of 2012 to the first half of 2013, and cap rates declined significantly in Northern Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.
mh- New York Jewish Guide.com